Advisory Board

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The Partnership for the Future of Medicare includes an Advisory Board comprised of six bi-partisan, highly regarded health policy and health economics experts who previously served in both the Legislative and Executive branches of government. Their perspectives differ but they have all coalesced around the need to reform the current state of Medicare and propose innovative solutions to ensure its long-term fiscal sustainability.

  • DOUG HOLTZ-EAKIN, Ph.D., Co-Chair

    Douglas Holtz-Eakin is president of the American Action Forum, former director of the Congressional Budget Office and former chief economist of the Council of Economic Advisers. He has a distinguished record as an academic, strategist and policy advisor, including his recent role as a commissioner on the congressionally chartered Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. In 2007-2008 he was director of Domestic and Economic Policy for Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign. Previously, Dr. Holtz-Eakin was president of DHE Consulting, an economic and policy consulting firm providing insight and research to a broad cross-section of clients. Dr. Holtz-Eakin has held positions in several Washington-based think tanks. He was senior fellow at the Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics, and the director of the Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies and the Paul A. Volcker Chair in International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations. He has also been a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, Heritage Foundation and American Family Business Foundation. Dr. Holtz-Eakin serves on the Tax Foundation Board of Directors.

  • KEN THORPE, Ph.D., Co-Chair

    Dr. Kenneth Thorpe is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management in the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. He is a former professor of health policy and administration at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Harvard, Columbia and Tulane Universities; and former deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from 1993 to 1995. In this capacity, he coordinated all financial estimates and program impacts of President Clinton’s health care reform proposals for the White House.

  • He also directed the administration’s estimation efforts in dealing with Congressional health care reform proposals during the 103rd and 104th sessions of Congress. Dr. Thorpe brings his extensive knowledge of health care and politics to the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease – a coalition representing more than 100 of the nation’s most influential health care stakeholders – where, as executive director, he leads an effort to increase awareness of the growing crisis of chronic illness in the United States and develops solutions to address it.


    Lanhee J. Chen, Ph.D. is the David and Diane Steffy Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Director of Domestic Policy Studies in the Public Policy Program at Stanford University.  His current research focuses on health policy, economic policy, campaigns and elections, and California policy and politics.  In 2013, Dr. Chen was appointed by President Barack Obama, upon the recommendation of United States Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), to serve on the bipartisan, independent Social Security Advisory Board. 

    A veteran of several high-profile political campaigns, Dr. Chen has also served in government, the private sector, and academia. Before coming to Stanford, he was the policy director for the Romney-Ryan presidential campaign, as well as Governor Romney’s chief policy adviser, a senior strategist on the campaign, and the person responsible for developing the campaign’s domestic and foreign policy. In 2012, he was named one of POLITICO’s “50 Politicos to Watch.” Dr. Chen also served in the Bush administration as a senior official at HHS.


    Bob Kocher, M.D., is a partner at Venrock, a venture capital firm that focuses on technology and health care. He currently serves on the board of Castlight Health and the advisory boards of Harvard Medical School’s Health Care Policy Department, the University of Southern California’s Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, the National Institute for Health Care Management, and ChildObesity180. 

    He is also a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Engelberg Center for Health Reform and co-chair of the Health Data Initiative, a joint effort of HHS and the Institute of Medicine to release health care data to improve health care cost and quality through private-sector innovation. Prior to Venrock, Dr. Kocher was President Obama's special assistant for health care and economic policy and a member of the National Economic Council. He was a leader of the First Lady’s “Let's Move” childhood obesity initiative, led the formation of the Partnership for a Healthier America and served on the Federal Advisory Panel charged with developing a national obesity strategy. Earlier, he was a partner at McKinsey & Co. and led McKinsey Global Institute's health care economics work.


    Kavita Patel is a health policy specialist and board-certified physician whose expertise centers on issues such as delivery system reform, access, coverage and quality. Dr. Patel is a fellow and managing director of delivery system reform and clinical transformation at the Brookings Institution’s Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform, where she leads research on delivery system reform, health care financing, physician payment reform, and health care workforce development. 

    She previously served as director of policy for the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs during the Obama administration and deputy staff director for the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee under the leadership of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. Her prior research in health care quality and community approaches to mental illness have earned national recognition and she has published numerous papers and book chapters on health care reform and health policy. She has testified before Congress several times and she is a frequent guest expert on CBS, NBC and MSNBC as well as serving on the editorial board of Health Affairs.